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Manuscripts and Archives (Repository) Subject Guides: Home

Helpful information and subject guides to primary resources in Manuscripts and Archives.

What's Here--Page under construction

Manuscripts and Archives holds millions of unpublished and published resources relevant to research on many subjects. We have created the guides available from this page to assist you in quickly identifying collections in our holdings by subject. The guides are not comprehensive; only the most relevant sources are included.

We have divided the guides into two tabs: Specific Subjects and Specific Yale Subjects.  We've created separate Yale related subject guides to make them easier to identify and find. While the Specific Subjects guides list only collections found in our holdings, the Specific Yale Subjects guides also include resources found outside of Manuscripts and Archives, such as articles and websites.

Most of our holdings are not represented in any of the Subject Guides. See the Top Five Ways to Search Our Collections below for additional ways to search our holdings. 

If you are new to Manuscripts and Archives, you will find the Using our Collections page helpful.  It provides some tips for using our collections and links to our website, which has much more information.

Still can't find what you need? Contact us; we are here to help you.

Top Five Ways to Search Our Collections

Locating relevant sources in our collections might be challenging to the uninitiated.  Here are the top five ways to do it.

  1. Search Orbis.  Descriptions of all our holdings are available in Orbis, the library's online catalog.  Keep in mind however, that the descriptions are not detailed.  The nice thing about searching Orbis is that you can find both published and unpublished material relevant to your topic. You can limit your search by type of material (such and manuscripts and archives) and by Collection (or repository).  To limit your search to our holdings in Orbis click "More Limits" and select "Manuscripts and Archives" from the "Collections" list. 
  2. Search Worldcat. WorldCat is the Online Computer Library Center's (OCLC) online "union catalog"; that is, its database of over 1 billion records of books and other materials held in more than 10,000 academic, public, special and national libraries around the world. For those who do not have easy access to Orbis, Worldcat also has summary descriptions of our holdings.  Just be aware that you will not be able to limit your search to our holdings.
  3. Search our Finding Aids Database.  Finding aids are more detailed than the descriptions in the above catalogs.  They provide context for the materials described as well as a contents list, usually to the box and folder level and sometimes even to the item level.  You can search across finding aids from the Finding Aids Database or if you find a collection in Orbis, you can link to the finding aid from there.
  4. Search the Manuscripts and Archives Digital Image Database (MADID).  Interested in images from our collections? A small portion of images in our collections have been digitized and are available in MADID.  Just note that while there are thousands of images in MADID, they represent a very small portion of the images in our collections.
  5. Ask a reference archivist.  We are here to help you.  You can email, call us at (203) 432-1735, or stop by the Manuscripts and Archives Cowles Reference Center, where a reference archivist is available Monday through Friday, 8:30-noon and 1-4:45 (exceptions are posted on the library website). 

About Manuscripts and Archives (Repository)

Manuscripts and Archives is a major center for historical inquiry and also serves as the documentary memory of Yale University. All members of the Yale community as well as those outside the university are welcome to use the resources and services of the department.


To learn more about us, visit our website.